Return of the Writing Files

If you’ve been reading my blog for quite a while, you may remember how I used to publish posts under the heading “The Writing Files”. While I did abandon these quite a while ago, I am now resuming them as I delve even deeper into the world of writing. Though I am by no means extremely experienced in the field, I will attempt to give advice or to write on the topic to the best of my ability.

Today, I wanted to talk to you about story vs plot. We often tend to confuse the two as being one and the same thing, but this is actually incorrect. While they are two very important parts of one whole that makes up a book, film, or graphic novel, story and plot are two sides of one very vital coin. First, lets look at the definitions:

Story revolves around the characters and their through line. The story has to do with emotional development and characters, while the plot deals with the action. Think big explosions, fights, and huge battles.

To better illustrate the difference between story and plot, I’m going to use Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 2 as an example. In the film, the plot revolves around Doctor Otto Octavius as he tries to produce a successful experiment, even at the expense of other’s lives. Spiderman must stop him and the plot ends when Doc Ock decides to make the noble decision to sacrifice himself and destroy his own life-ending experiment. The story however doesn’t end until MJ comes to Peter and admits to him how much she loves him. For this film, the story was always about Peter accomplishing his goals and mending his relationships with those he cared about, Mary Jane in particular.

Another great example is Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The plot and story both revolve around a very similar thing: destroying Sauron’s ring. The only difference is that the plot ends when Sauron’s tower at Mordor is destroyed and the story ends when Frodo leaves for the Gray Havens. For Frodo, the story was always about overcoming the influence of the ring, which doesn’t lose its control on  him until he leaves for the Gray Havens and essentially leaves for peace.

Think of it this way. The plot deals with action. The story deals with characters and their emotions.

After all, we don’t come back to Harry Potter just because of the exciting battles between Voldemort and Harry, though that is part of the attraction. What keeps us going back to popular series like Harry Potter and Star Wars are the lovable characters who draw us into their world and makes us root for them in the battles.

That’s all for today, but comment if you’d like to see more or just have any questions!


1 Tim 4:12 - GenZ and unapologetically in love with Christ - sharing Y O U R stories - beauty from ashes

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